Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Eunice Foote: Foot at the Front Door of Climate Change

Closing the door here on Women's History Month as we make our way to April, we're going to take a sneak peak at Eunice Foote, one of the first to actually have her foot in the door and finger on the pulse of climate change.

Eunice is a little known female environmentalist and women's rights activist, however surprisingly, she was one of the first to introduce the idea of global warming and climate change.

Born 202 years ago in 1819, Eunice Newton Foote (of Seneca Falls, New York) was a physicist, inventor, and women's rights advocate. Through experimentation over time, Eunice studied the sun's rays effects on different gases using an air pump, glass cylinders, and thermometers. From there, she wrote up her findings in a paper in 1856 entitled Circumstances Affecting the Heat of the Sun's Rays. It was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting by male scientist Joseph Henry rather than by Eunice Foote herself. The reason for this is not clear given she presented a different paper of her own the following year.

However, it was Irish physicist John Tyndall who is often credited for the discovery of the greenhouse effect (which is the foundation of global warming and climate change) in 1859--three years after Eunice's paper!

What is likely is that Eunice's work was probably unknown by Tyndall, due probably to the fact that women of that era were not revered in the science fields. Secondarily, the primary folks in the field at that time were Europeans, not Americans. Thirdly, Eunice held the status of amateur scientist, making it yet another reason why her name did not circle in all the right places. Additionally she did have some flaws in her study, yet despite that, she was the first to make the full connection. Given that recognition is due where it is due, Eunice was noted (posthumously)  to be the first to notice carbon dioxide and water vapor absorbed heat--linking to how our atmosphere would lead warming the planet with increased carbon dioxide.

To learn more and further tip your hat to Eunice Foot as the "Mother of Climate Change," read these articles and watch either of the animated video or short film below:

Photograph of Eunice Foote from, sketch & writing picture from, Videos from and

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Earth Hour Tonight & "You're The Voice"

"You're The Voice" is perfectly named for this anthem, put together by the group 1 Million Women. Although it was released in 2015, it may not be something you have seen before. 

Sharing it here during March & Women's History Month & on the day of Earth Hour is also well-timed. So many times throughout the course of history, women's voices have been silenced. Yet here, it serves as the perfect foil--countering the silence and being the voice of change, climate action, hope, and leadership.

It also is the perfect anthem for Earth Hour, a long-standing, environmental and global grassroots movement dating back to 2007. Make your voice heard tonight, Saturday, March 27th from 8:30--9:30 in your time zone by turning out your lights. Also, be sure on the 27th to check out Earth Hour's virtual spotlight. To learn more, check out my previous GTG post from 3/20/2021.

Earth Hour's Virtual Spotlight Video: Share it forward!

Image created on and Video from and

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Women's History Month, Environmental Style

I can't let March go by without a conversation or two about Women's History month, especially as it is tied to environmentalism. Truthfully, I don't believe in "The Months" as a way of teaching anything. It often pigeon-holes people to thinking that Black History should only be discussed in February, Women's History in March, Asian Pacific History in May, LGBTQ Pride in June, Hispanic Heritage from Sept 15-October, and Native American History in November. I'm sure there are many more "months" out there. Truthfully, all of these marginalized groups should be daily-remembered in any unit of study. 

Case in point, I was sharing Computer History with my 2nd graders the last two weeks and I detailed my "places it happened scavenger hunt" of Sillicon Valley from Summer of 2018. That was the expedition I navigated while my husband drove all around (God love him) soI could see the places history happened: the Hewlett-Packard garage, the garage of "the Steves" (Wozniak and Jobs) where Apple was born, Google, Facebook, meeting Carl Sjogreen of Seesaw, and more. What I discovered as I was preparing to share my photos and the backstory of computer history through those pics was all of the people that were missing. I was sharing it in March, so did that mean I should only be sure to include the famous women innovators in the tech field of Silicon Valley? No! So I made sure to share a collection of women of all ethnicities and a number of non-white men as well. We definitely had an open conversation on the "who's missing in these pictures?"... followed up by "look at all of the amazing things women and non-white men did as well."

This is how all concepts should be shared in 2021. And it's something we talked about in my Master's program, well over 20 years ago as well.

But, "The Months" do help give structure to those who aren't already thinking along the lines of being inclusive across races, genders, sexualities, nationalities, economics, and more. So for that reason, I think it's necessary to specifically pay tribute to a few of these women environmental leaders and change makers. 

I've listed the ladies names & major accomplishments under the resource that discusses them where you can go to learn more about how these fabulous females made a difference. I wasn't at all surprised to see repeated names on the list. With the first mention of her name, I included a brief description of what each woman (along with her birth and possible death date). Over half of the list was new to me, and it really highlights how fundamental and phenomenal each of these women are!

A Mighty Girl's Guardians of the Planet: 16 Women Environmentalists You Should Know (6.5.2020)

  • Anna Botsford Comstock (1854 - 1930) -- environmental educator, author, first female professor at Cornell University 
  • Kate Sessions (1857 - 1940) --"Mother of Balboa Park" who is responsible for gardens & park & tree planting in San Diego 
  • Rosalie Barrow Edge (1877 - 1962) -- founder of the Emergency Conservation Committee & world's first refuge for birds of prey. 
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890 - 1998) -- author of The Everglades: River of Grass and avid conservationist
  • Margaret Thomas Murie (1902 - 2003) -- known as the "Grandmother of the Conservation Movement" & key player in passing the Wilderness Act
  • Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964) -- marine biologist, author of Silent Spring which helped push for the creation of the EPA and the elimination of DDT
  • Dian Fossey (1932 - 1985) -- American primatologist who studied gorillas in Rwanda
  • Jane Goodall (b. 1934) -- British primatologist & world expert on chimpanzee in Tanzania and animal welfare advocate
  • Sylvia Earle (b. 1935) -- marine biologist, oceanographer, first woman Chief Scientist at NOAA, and founder of Mission Blue
  • Wangari Maathai (1940 - 2011) -- Nobel laureate, first woman in East & Central Africa to earn her doctorate degree, and Kenyan founder of the Green Belt Movement to empower women and plant trees in deforested areas of Africa.
  • Biruté Galdikas (b. 1946) -- primatologist who studied orangutans in Borneo and created a rehabilitation center for reintroducing orangutans into the wild
  • Winona LaDuke (b. 1959) -- Native American activist, founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project and Honor the Earth
  • Erin Brockovich (b. 1960) -- public health and safety activist who exposed groundwater contamination in Hinckley, California
  • Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores (1971 - 2016) -- indigenous environmental justice activist for the Lenca people of Honduras
  • Isatou Ceesay (b. 1972) -- known as the "Queen of Recycling" in The Gambia, creator of the One Plastic Bag movement, & women's empowerment through environmental advocacy
  • Greta Thunberg (b. 2003) -- Swedish teenager who is a dedicated climate change activist 

Heal the Bay's "Five 5 Women Environmentalists Who Changed the World" by post by Mariana Estrada (3.8.2021)
  • Wangari Maathai
  • Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores 
  • Isatou Ceesay 
  • Winona LaDuke 
  • Vanessa Nakate (b. 1996) -- Ugandan founder of the Rise Up Movement & climate change activist

University of Connecticut's 5 Women Who Have Revolutionized the Environmental Movement (4.12.2018)
  • Rosalie Edge
  • Sylvia Earle
  • Wangari Maathai
  • Lois Gibbs (b. 1951) -- public health and safety activist who brought attention to the Love Canal, New York neighborhood that was built on top of a toxic waste site and founder of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice
  • Vandana Shiva (b. 1952) -- Indian ecofeminist, biodiversity expert, author, and creator of the international college for sustainable living: Bija Vidyapeeth

  • Jane Goodall
  • Sylvia Earle
  • Wangari Maathai
  • Rachel Carson
  • Vandana Shiva
  • Isatou Ceesay
  • May Boeve (b. ~ 1984) -- environmental activist & cofounder of the climate change awareness website which is dedicated to reducing levels fo carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • Marina Sylva (b. 1958) -- environmental & social justice activist, politician, and Brazilian Amazon Rainforest advocate
  • Greta Thunberg
  • Vanessa Nakate

SF Environment's Celebrating Women Environmentalists During Women's History Month

  • This article is a comprehensive list of 41 environmental activist American women! Surprising too are that there are still new names! 
  • Included in the list: Jane Adams ~ Mollie Beattie ~ Frances Beinecke ~ Julia "Judy" Bonds ~ Reverend Sally Bingham ~ Carol Martha Browner ~ Rachel Carson ~ Aurora Castillo ~ Ruth Chickering Clusen ~ Heidi Cullen ~ Laurie David ~ Marjory Stoneman Douglas ~ Dianne Dillon-Ridgley ~ Sylvia A. Earle ~ Rosalie Edge ~ Lois Gibbs ~ Dr. Dianne Glave ~ Maria Gunnoe ~ Dolores Huerta ~ Celia M. Hunter ~ Lisa Jackson ~ Lady Bird Johnson ~ Elizabeth Kolbert ~ Winona LaDuke ~ Maya Lin ~ L. Hunter Lovins ~ Sophie Maxwell ~ Margaret “Mardy” Murie ~ Donella H. "Dana" Meadows ~ Irma Muñoz ~ Barbara Y.E. Pyle ~ Marjorie Richard ~ Linda Sánchez ~ Susan D. Shaw ~ Hilda Lucia Solis ~ Sandra Steingraber ~ Wilma Subra ~ JoAnn Tall ~ Kimberly Wasserman Nieto ~ Dr. Beverly L. Wright ~ Elizabeth Yeampierre

All banners created on

Top banner images from in order: Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Wangari Maathai, Sylvia Earle, Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores and Greta Thunberg

Middle banner images from in order: Vandana Shiva, Marina Silva, May Boeve, and Vanessa Nakate

Bottom banner images from in order: Kate Sessions, Isatou Ceesay, Dian Fossey, Rosalie Barrow Edge, Erin Brockovich, Winona LaDuke, and Margaret Thomas Murie

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Earth Hour: March 27, 2021 @ 8:30-9:30 pm

A week from today, next Saturday, March 27th, is Earth Hour. This has been one of my go-to annual events. Since 2007, starting solo in Sydney, Australia, then going global, lights go out locally the last Saturday of March from 8:30-9:30 pm in your time zone. 

Like "the wave" this time-zone-centric "lights out" approach helps bring an awareness to climate change. 

As with just about everything else this last year has had to adapt and change in their approach. Gatherings couldn't happen last year for Earth Hour, so instead, it went online and you could go to a "candle'ed approach" to Earth Hour in your own homes.

This year too, innovation must prevail. Earth Hour 2021 inspires everyone to still click off your lights for that hour, but then also to go online and take action to spotlight our planet, making this year's Earth Hour their first "Virtual Spotlight." So just in the past the spotlight was on turning off the streets, building, landmarks, and more to draw attention to climate change, this year, that awareness will be highlighted online with a social media blitz. The goal, to flood the Internet with their Earth Hour video they'll be posting on all of their social media pages. Share it forward and spotlight the importance of Earth Hour and planet Earth by posting, re-tweeting, emailing, DM-ing, and more on all of your social media platforms. Their make it the most watched, most trending video of the day, passing the message far and wide.

Where will you find this Earth Hour Virtual Spotlight video?  
All of the following next Saturday, on March 27th:

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Green Your Day o'Green: Happy St. Patty's Day

As we have all learned during this last year, levity, fun, and humor have been the things that have severely missing. Given the weight of the last post, I thought celebrating the green o'St. Patricks Day may be the way to go. 

Go green this green holiday with these 20 ideas of  how to green up your St. Patty's Day in the greenest of eco-ways on this Irish day!

1. Don't go buying new green for your wearin' o'the green. Check out your closet and go with something you already have.

2. Want something new-to-you to wear? Visit a thrift shop and take advantage of the "reuse" industry.

3. Bow out of the glittery green hair sprays and face paints that are far from natural. Go re-usable with necklaces, hats, and accoutrements to jazz up your St. Patty's Day style.

4. Same for all of the plastic festive wear. #PlasticIsNotFantastic

5. Looking for some festive wear for your table? Use the real stuff or purchase the biodegradable variety of cups, plates, napkins, and silverware.

6. Make sure all recyclables get into your recycle bin.make sure beer cans, bottles, and other recyclables make it into the correct bin.

7. Drink eco-friendly Irish coffee.

8. Even better....take your own reusable mug.

9. Start the day instead with a green smoothie or some lovely green tea.

10. Make green the theme for your meals. Get a hefty dose of those leafy greens or other veggies in your meals du jour.

11. Going traditional feasting fare: go organic, local, grass-fed corned beef.

12. Or, move away from the meat-heavy traditional foods as meat-eating animals require a lot of environmental resources.

13. Get your green by getting outside and getting some Vitamin D, some Vitamin N(ature), and some exercise.

14. When indoors, turn off or unplug anything electronic you aren't using. Save that phantom electricity.

15. Same goes for the lights!

16. Go green with your cleaners (though, let's be honest, who's cleaning on St. Patrick's Day? Not this li'l leprechaun!)

17. Support green, eco-friendly businesses and restaurants. is a great place to go to size that up.

18. Drink organic green beer....or at least support a local brewery.

19. If you are hitting the Irish pubs, skip the plastic straws in your beverages.

20. Likewise, if you are out and about, consider ride sharing to get home safe and sound.

All of the ideas are inspired from the following articles if you want to dive in and read more!

Kiss Me, I’m Eco-Friendly! 5 Tips for a Truly Green St. Patrick’s Day

Putting the Green in St. Patrick’s Day

REALLY Go Green with Eco-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Activities 

How to Green Your St. Patrick's Day

15 ShamROCKIN' Ways to Go Green this St. Patrick's Day (and every day)!

Art created at 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

One Year: Through The Eyes of a Quarantine

As we hit the one year anniversary of when many schools and communities in the United States went on shutdown March 13th, 2020 due to the novel coronavirus, the phrase "through the eyes of a quarantine" came to mind. This led near-instantly to Lin Manuel Miranda's song from Hamilton coming to mind:  "Through the Eyes of a Hurricane." I played around with modifying it:

In the eyes of a quarantine
We are homebound.
While the virus swirls,
A pandemic.

March 13 of '20, a quarantine
Locked us all down
In every town.
Near nation-wide, a long year now.

That's about as far as I got.

A year ago, I didn't have an inkling that we'd be here, in this way, an entire year from then. Silly us, as we prepped through the end of February and the start of March for the potential for remote learning, none of us thought it'd be more than a few weeks or a month at most. When glimmers of conversation cropped up in the news it could be until 2021, I found it unbelievable and despairing. 

And here we are now. A year later.

Some schools and children have been on remote learning for an entire year, or darn near close.

Last spring, I wrestled with remote learning. Then I learned this fall that hybrid learning and teaching to half the class in the classroom and the other half simultaneously via zoom is actually harder. Last April, who would have thought those words would be coming out of my mouth! As teachers and students alike, we have worn our masks--or 2 simultaneously--all day long every day since August. Essential workers in our own classrooms. 

Whether remote or hybrid (or perhaps some schools even full back in--ours is going that route after our Spring Break), we've become worn out. We've watched numbers spike and dip down then spike up again. We've started seeing variants make their way like a wave across the planet. We've missed out on a lot of golden moments and memories and milestones. It's been a really long time since I've seen my mom outside of a computer screen. In fact, all of 2020 and then some. 

And we've also been frustrated as we see people we know (either in our paths or on social media), doing their own things, taking trips or having parties, making us feel like some of us are working so hard to do the right thing, while others gallivant and "live life because its meant to be lived," yet in the middle of a pandemic, it doesn't feel right or just. This leaves some of us "pangry" [pandemic angry--yes, it's a thing], and that too has an exhaustion associated with it. Especially as variants crop up and we feel the never-ending-ness of this pandemic.

But...we've seen the glimmer of hope too. For some, that comes with a new president. For even more, it's associated with the virtual "light at the end of the tunnel" with vaccines and the science and money backing them. More hope coming forth too as more and more of those vaccine make their way into arms. As a teacher, I'm thankful to be bumped up on that list with both vaccines behind me--and in me.

I ran across an article entitled "What the Quarantine Can Teach Us about Zero-Waste Living, Saving the Planet, and Hope" by Sophie Hirsh on with the environmental sites I follow. A Google search will lead you to a bounty of similarly themed articles about what we can learn from this time. The eco-tie-ins are many:

During the pandemic, we've eaten at home more--meaning real food, healthier options, and reasonable portion sizes (versus the super-size portions of many restaurants, which then leads to waste or even obesity). We've learned to make do with what's at home because a trip to the grocery store can feel cumbersome with masks or the need to order online. The same is true as we've been less likely to go out shopping and coming home with things we don't need. Inadvertently, many of us have lived a more minimalistic lifestyle. We've seen we can get away with less... and it also has created innovative work environments, making us rethink work and school. We've also seen evidence in the early days of the planet restoring itself with cleaner air and animals reclaiming some urban areas which encroached on their natural habitats. Despite it being a drastic measure, clearly, it's doable. And we are starting to see some of those eco-initiatives come through in Biden's presidency. 

I purposely chose the masked Mona Lisa in my opening art because it feels symbolic of the year. Part of the allure of Leonardo da Vinci's famous work is the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile. Eyes and smiles go together. Part of the intrigue over the Mona Lisa painting is in her eyes, which seem to follow you. It has a name: the Mona Lisa effect

Over the last year, especially teaching in a mask (and seeing the daily Zoom thumbnail of myself), it's true that you definitely can have smiling eyes. But, the true connection in the smile is the part that's now-been-hidden behind the mask for a year now. Paralleling a lot of human connection that has been missing in our adapted lives this past year. 

As more and more people get vaccinated, we are able to come a little bit more out of our hidey-holes. We can start to re-gather together into shared living space as Spring starts to flower and warm. May we carry forth some of the importance lessons we've collectively learned. May we really be able to "see".... and may we smile and embrace joy, despite the loss of a hard year.

Art created at; Mona Lisa masked pic in stock art on; 3 pandemic pictures from the following:,, and

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

A Bounty of Books, All About Nature

I love books. Picture books. Novels. Nonfiction. Biographies. Mysteries. All of them. Of course, we all have our preferred genres, but gravitating towards books is something I always do.

I think it's the teacher in me. At my previous school, my class library was second in size to only the school library when it came to numbers. Now, sadly, many of those are in boxes in my garage or other classrooms as I now have a mere office versus a classroom. Additionally, I spend most of my time at school not even in my office, but visiting other classrooms, doing my edtech thing. 

As for my house, my own kids have certainly graduated past picture books, so those shelves too have been thinned. But books are still part of my blood, and this year I'm striving to read at least one a week (novels and nonfiction, not the picture book variety). And, most of my books these days are on my phone in my Kindle app.

But given books are as much a part of me as my personality, that's why I love lists like this, where there's a bounty of books.  Kudos to Penny Whitehouse at for compiling this list of "100+ Enchanting Nature Books for Kids." 

Seeing this list, and loving how each title is linked and ready to be shopped, I want to dive in and go order a bundle. Here's where willpower is tricky when you have a book obsession like me! 🙃

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Thomas Crowther's TED Talk on Biodiversity & Restor

Much like the soothing sound of the birds and crickets that open this TED Talk, Thomas Crowther's voice is equally relaxing as he details the importance of biodiversity for our planet. In his talk "The Global Movement to Restore Nature's Biodiversity" from October 2020, he details the research on reforestation. 

As he says, restoration and reforestation is not the single solution to climate change. It isn't just about offsetting emissions, but it is one of many solutions to help bolster our current ecosystems. 

Additionally Crowther discusses Restor, an open data platform that will launch fully later this year to crowdsource data on restoration projects. This will ultimately accelerate both the acquisition of environmental data and knowledge to lead to environmental progress. By learning from each other, this "digital ecosystem" helps inform future actions and projects. Backed by Google and other science and tech partners, we see once again how innovation is what will help make the global environmental changes we need.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Richard Byrne's Discovery, Discussion, Demonstration Framework

As the Lower School Technology Specialist, I'm always on the look out for the latest and greatest tech tools for the classroom. Digging into new tools, especially in this hybrid/remote learning world we are living in has continued to be one of my passions, and I'm always on the lookout for new ways to help my teachers engage their students. 

Because of all of that, Richard Byrne has been one of my go-to's throughout the years, and I've written about my adoration for all he does to help teachers integrate technology. I get his weekly newsletter  detailing his latest posts on Free Technology for Teachers. He also writes Practical too.There are always edtech gems in there that get my wheels turning. 

In one of his latest newsletter, he mentioned the Discovery, Discussion, Demonstration framework that he uses when encountering new technology and trying to determine if and how he will use it in school. Good hints here (as always) even for the most seasoned tech teachers. He included this video post from last May 2020. When you go to this video on Youtube (which I posted below), you also will get the link to the slideshow he used. 

Thank you Richard for all these spectacular tools!!